Longtime matchmaker Joe Silva to be inducted into UFC Hall of Fame

Joe Silva was working at an arcade in Richmond, Va., made a cold phone call to Campbell McLaren, and helped build a sport.

The unlikely story of Joe Silva, an arcade worker who watched early UFC events and made a cold phone call, which led to him becoming one of the most influential people in building a worldwide sport, will have a fitting next and possibly last chapter.

Silva was announced during UFC 211 as the latest inductee into the UFC Hall of Fame as a contributor.

Silva will be honored on July 6 in Las Vegas, along with Urijah Faber and Maurice Smith. Still to be announced is a fight that will be inducted.

Silva was the matchmaker for UFC from 2001 until retiring this past December after getting a huge cash payout stemming from the sale of the company by the Fertitta brothers to WME-IMG. Silva, along with Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta, were probably the three most influential people in taking a company on life support in 2001 and building it into a sport that is televised and sells out live events all over the world.

“Joe Silva is the greatest matchmaker in the history of any combat sport,” UFC president Dana White said. “Period.”

Silva was very different from the other two. During his tenure, he had frequently been impressed with how hard White and Fertitta worked, noting that if he was rich like they were, he’d walk away and enjoy his family, never thinking that such a day would come. During all the talks of a sale in 2016, Silva, working the crazy hours of constantly making matches and remaking matches after injuries, drug-test failures and other issues that would change events on a daily basis, wouldn’t even think about the sale. If there was a sale, and the price was in the $4 billion range that was being talked about, he’d be getting more than enough for him to retire and live comfortably on for the rest of his life. His reaction was that things like that don’t happen to people like him. So he blocked all of the talk from his head space.

Then it happened. The sale was completed. Silva announced his retirement, saying he’d work through the end of the year. He noted a few weeks ago that he hasn’t had a bad day since.

Silva was a 29-year-old arcade worker, living in Richmond, Va., who made a random phone call to Campbell McLaren of Semaphore Entertainment Group in 1994. McLaren, at the time, was running the UFC. By some fluke, that neither he nor McLaren could ever fully explain, McLaren decided to take the call. McLaren was so impressed with Silva’s knowledge of fighting that he tabbed Silva “UFC’s greatest fan,” and soon after that, hired him as a consultant.

Until his retirement, he had the longest tenure working for the UFC of anyone in history.

“To have been a part of the UFC from its early days and to see the heights to which it has risen has been amazing,” Silva said. “The martial arts have been my passion since I was a kid, and to have been a part of the sport that has impacted them so much was a wonderful experience. To be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame is a great honor and caps off what has been a wonderful journey.”

Silva loved reading about all subjects, but in particular, was a huge fan of boxing, kickboxing, martial arts and pro wrestling. He trained and did real fight sparring with rules that would allow basically anything you could come up with to do. So he was aware of the value of wrestling and submissions, along with the striking that the public thought was the be-all and end-all of a real fight. That taught him enough to know that most of what was in the martial arts and fighting magazines of the time was pure fantasy. An actual sport like UFC, which mixed boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, judo and jiu-jitsu, was like a dream to him.

He saw an ad in Black Belt magazine that the UFC was looking for fighters, and called the phone number. He and McLaren talked for hours on that first call. And they continued to talk. McLaren was fascinated by Silva’s knowledge of fighting and his perspective on the fights, and wanted to fly him in for shows.

Silva, at the time, had never flown in an airplane, and didn’t even have a drivers license.

Silva continued to turn down McLaren’s offers to come to shows until the 1995 Ultimate Ultimate in Denver, a one-night tournament of UFC’s biggest stars. The lure of seeing a show so big overrode his never wanting to fly. After that point, he was regularly attending the early shows that helped build the sport and its early stars.

Later, Silva worked with Jeff Blatnick and John McCarthy to write the UFC’s first rule book.

Silva didn’t even own a computer. Blatnick took a liking to him immediately, and bought him one. Later, when Silva became Vice President of Talent Relations, it was joked that a guy who had never eaten an expensive steak was now an executive dining with the Fertittas in fancy Las Vegas restaurants.

Had SEG sold the company to Dan Lambert, the current owner of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla., as was expected to happen in 2000, Silva would have almost surely been a forgotten figure in UFC history.

But instead, the Fertitta brothers purchased the company. Silva had become friends with Tito Ortiz, who was UFC’s top star at the time of the sale. After Ortiz had lost to Guy Mezger in his second UFC fight, it was Silva who pushed hard for UFC to bring Ortiz back, thinking he had potential to be a top star, and had charisma. As Ortiz climbed the ranks and had become the light heavyweight champion, White asked Ortiz who he thought should be the UFC’s matchmaker. Ortiz suggested Silva. White and the Fertittas didn’t even know who Silva was, but after talking to Silva, they were impressed and hired him for the job.

In 2004, when UFC was on its last legs, and Lorenzo Fertitta and White decided to try and get UFC fights on television, nobody was interested. The next idea was to produce a reality show, and they came up with a concept, a show called “The American Promoter.” The idea was a reality show about White, following him around while he put together shows a few times a year.

Silva argued against the idea, and came up with an alternative plan, a show about unknown fighters who would fight to get a UFC contract, coming up with the name, “The Ultimate Fighter.” He also handpicked most of the fighters for the first season, including Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar, and most of the key stars that emerged coming out of all the show’s early seasons.

After the success of the reality show, and then of live fights on Spike, Versus, now NBC Sports Network, wanted to get into the MMA game. They were negotiating with the International Fight League. UFC was trying to head them off, but due to having an exclusive contract with Spike, UFC couldn’t put fights on Versus.

To get around that, the Fertittas purchased World Extreme Cagefighting, a group that was running casino events in Lemoore, Calif., outside of Fresno. WEC was to be a separate promotion to enable UFC to head off the IFL, and get a presence on Versus.

It was Silva’s idea to use WEC to feature smaller fighters, rather than just the heavier weight classes that were in the UFC.

It was the success of the WEC, and in particular the popularity of Faber, which made the WEC, and with it, the featherweight and bantamweight divisions popular. Eventually the stars of WEC got so big and the Faber vs. Jose Aldo pay-per-view show was so successful that the decision was made to shut down the promotion as a separate entity and bring the stars, and those weight classes, to UFC.

Silva remained an improbable executive. While many growing up in Richmond, Va., would dream of being an executive for a major company based in Las Vegas, it wasn’t for him. He was ready to quit and go back to Virginia, and to his family, years ago. By that point he’d more than proven his value. White agreed to allow him to work from home to keep him, and most of his work was done out of his home office rather than the UFC office.

Along the way, he trained Sean Shelby, the UFC’s current head matchmaker, in his concepts of how to match up talent. Unlike with boxing, where stars are picked from early on and given easy matches and wins to build up records, Silva tried to match fighters more evenly. By doing so, UFC results became far more unpredictable, with major upsets almost every weekend. It also trained fans to accept that almost everyone would lose, and that losses, while important, are things you can rebound from as opposed to things that end careers.

Silva didn’t always get his way, although White, and others, would joke that it was impossible to win an argument with him. But Silva had a hand in virtually all major matches the company put on from its near death to being sold in what, at the time, was the biggest money sports franchise sale in world history.

Nicknamed “the best matchmaker on the planet,” Silva went from booking six shows a year with maybe eight fights, to 45 shows with 10 to 13 fights and managing a roster of more than 600 fighters. He described his plight as going from being a master chef to a short-order cook.

While doing all this, Silva largely stayed out of the public spotlight. He was rarely shown on television, although fighters and announcers would constantly mention his name during broadcasts. The only reason fans could likely pick the otherwise mysterious Joe Silva out of a police lineup would be because he would be introduced individually to fans at weigh-ins.

Since then, he’s returned to anonymity, reading books and studying all sorts of subjects. The only difference is, people today know that boxing isn’t a real complete fight, and that the kind of fights you used to see in martial arts movies aren’t what real fights usually look like either. His theories of the importance of wrestling, submissions and all forms of ground fighting in an actual freestyle fighting situation were proven. The idea that such a sport incorporating them being financially viable was also proven. The idea that the public will pay big money to see smaller talented, charismatic fighters was proven as well.

In all, Silva negotiated more than 3,000 fights on 340 different events held around the world.

Source: mmafighting

UFC 211: Miocic vs dos Santos – Winners and Losers

Texas got some serious action and a killer main event from UFC 211. This card had some major expectations, largely due to the venue and the names associated with it. The UFC needed a big win here, with their offerings being mostly underwhelming this year to most fans, and the financial pressures they reportedly have to deal with.
What we expected was fireworks. What we got was a very good card, but perhaps not the sensational top to bottom event many had hoped for. The momentum appeared to have evaporated after the Alvarez vs Poirier no-contest, continuing with Jotko vs Branch until the main event. These fights weren’t bad, they just weren’t as dynamic and lacked finishes, which is unfortunate since it slows the action down a lot for most fans.
All in all, every card is a roll of the dice. There were some really great moments here, and some wins and losses that can have very interesting and fun ramifications down the road. Let’s dive in.

Winners
Stipe Miocic – Miocic remains the heavyweight champion, and now has a five-fight win streak that have ended in either a knockout or TKO. He’s probably the best conditioned heavyweight not named Cain Velasquez, and he just put away one of the toughest heavyweights ever and made it look relatively easy. Miocic isn’t the average wrestleboxer, either. He outworks his opponent and brutalizes them with speed, timing, precision and just fighting smart. While it’s not clear who he faces next just yet, whoever it is has a very rough road ahead. Speaking of possibly unstoppable champions…
Joanna Jedrzejczyk – Even with some rough sequences in the first few rounds, Joanna pulled away nice and easy to keep her distance game and essentially use Andrade for target practice as things went on. This is another odd case, because there isn’t a clear-cut contender next in line other than the winner of the upcoming fight between Claudia Gadelha and Karolina Kowalkiewicz or Rose Namajunas. It was a fantastic night for both champions, and Joanna gets bonus points for really digging deep and persevering against such a durable opponent. Even in another decision win, there was no doubt whatsoever as to who the queen of the hill is.
Demian Maia – Bear with me here – however controversial the fight may be, Maia still won. He made Masvidal look vulnerable and dragged him into pretty deep water in some frames of the bout. Masvidal did a lot of things correctly and seemed to have landed much more damage while Maia controlled and remained active by mixing short strikes with submission attempts. It wasn’t the sort of blowout performance the UFC has traditionally waited for in order to give a fighter a title shot, but he’s on such a tear that it’s pretty much undeniable. The only way this falls apart is if GSP jumpes the line at welterweight instead and gets a crack at Woodley. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.
Frankie Edgar – I’d submit that Edgar was the biggest winner of the night. Edgar may have two losses to Jose Aldo, and that has led some people thinking that Edgar is now relegated to gatekeeper status forever. Taking on a talented younger fighter and brutalizing him with a punishing pace, slick striking and a ground assault clinic? That’s fantastic. It’s not that he beat a fighter with less experience, it’s that he beat a surging phenom and made him look like he didn’t even belong there. That’s not a knock on Yair, it just speaks to how impressive Edgar’s performance was and how much praise it deserves. Now he’s only behind champions Max Holloway and Jose Aldo at featherweight. It’s hard to see him not getting yet another opportunity to fight for a belt quite soon.
Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez – In my eyes, Poirier was clearly winning the fight by repeatedly rocking Alvarez, until Eddie mounted a heavy rally to put Dustin on his back foot. After getting into an absolute war, we had a very anticlimactic end to this fight. Now look – we can’t really predict who would have won. That doesn’t negate the fact that we saw a hell of a fight already taking place, and in an eventual rematch these two could give a real bout for the ages. The end appears to truly have been an honest mistake, as Alvarez pulled up and must have thought he cleared Dustin’s knee off the ground. Alvarez also appears to have been under the impression that they were fighting under the new unified rules, which Texas has not adopted yet. It’s muddy and ugly, but the way both of them handled the matter and their willingness to have a rematch immediately after the fight shows what kind of fighters they really are. They both handled this as professionals, and a rematch absolutely has to happen here. There was no closure tonight, but we got a fantastic fight while it lasted. That nets both of them a spot in this segment.
David Branch – Not the most exciting UFC debut, but I personally think it has to do with the stylistic matchup here. Both are very durable, and Branch was able to apply pressure and keep things at a pace he was most comfortable at. Had this been a five round fight, he could have put a more definitive stamp on things, but that’s not what we had here. Here’s hoping we see where really he’s at in his next bout.
James Vick – Holy hell, this guy is impressive. Vick continues to be must-watch MMA each time, and when he’s not threatening the submission with his long limbs, he’s using his deceptive reach and punishing accuracy to put people away. Reyes never saw that one coming, and by the time he did he probably thought he was out of range. Dead wrong. Vick was right in the post-fight interview as well, because he should be fighting ranked opposition now. Expect that to happen very soon.
Jason Knight – Guys, Chas Skelly may not be the biggest name out there, but he’s a tremendous grappler and a very hard-nosed fighter that doesn’t quit. Knight took what Skelly had, managed to hang with him in the grappling department and turned the tables to put him away. That’s a four-fight win streak, with two consecutive finishes as well. The Kid is looking good here, and he’s improving in each outing.
Cortney Casey – Casey looked more dominant than ever, making one of the most decorated strawweights in the short history of the sport look very, very vulnerable. Casey was landing first and often, using slick combinations and great setups to land hard shots and keep Aguilar where she wanted her to be. An excellent bounceback win after her loss to Gadelha in November, and it evens out her UFC record at 3-3.
Chase Sherman finally gets his first UFC win after a brutal display that had almost everyone on edge. Enrique Barzola used his pressure to nullify the range game of Gabriel Benitez and land damage inside while using his superior wrestling. Barzola continues to impress as he keeps making great strides with each performance. Gadzhimurad Antigulov made Conan Silveira proud with that rear naked choke setup, too. Now he’s at 2-0 in his UFC run, both wins being submissions.

Losers
Junior dos Santos – Well, most of us thought he was done after the two losses to Cain Velasquez. Junior rebounded after that second loss in a close fight with Miocic back in 2014, only to get knocked out by Alistair Overeem a year later. I don’t want to say he’s done being a top heavyweight. That would be absurd. It’s not unreasonable to question how much longer he can actually compete, though. At this point, he’s taking major damage and is getting put away on the feet. Heavyweight is unpredictable, and most of the guys in the top ten hit like Mack trucks. It’s only a matter of finding the chin enough times for Junior to go down yet again, and how that affects the rest of his fights is going to be a problem.
Jessica Aguilar – There was a time not that long ago where Aguilar was right up there with Megumi Fujii in the conversation of being one of the best female fighters ever. Not the best, but really good and beating some certified talent everywhere she went. That praise was well deserved, and it saddens me that most fans that are only seeing her now aren’t seeing what she was capable of before. Aguilar may not be in any danger of getting cut, but she’s 0-2 in the UFC and hasn’t looked the way she was expected to look so far. Her stock took a major hit here, and as someone that has seen her fight for years, she’s better than this performance.
Gabriel Benitez – While still 3-2 in the UFC, he’s been alternating wins and losses since June of 2015. He can’t seem to build any momentum here. While he fought well, he’s missing a few steps to truly get ahead.
Joachim Christensen is now 1-2 in his UFC run, both submission losses. Something needs to change, or he’s getting cut unless he gets his walking papers now. Not very likely, but entirely possible. Chas Skelly almost made it to the “Neither“ category due to being 6-3, but got finished pretty badly and really seems to have had his ceiling clearly defined in this fight. Marco Polo Reyes is in a similar situation – 3-1 in his UFC run, but that sets you back pretty far at lightweight due to all the moving pieces. Losing to a fighter as talented as Vick takes a bit of the sting out of it, but it still counts heavily against him.
Victor Rodriguez – I was naïve enough to give the HD purchase another shot thinking maybe it was worth it. I’m not hurting for the extra ten dollars, but I’d seriously discourage anyone else from doing the same thing. It’s not like the difference is going from 1080p to 240 like YouTube circa 2008. Sheesh.
Honorable mention – Waaaaaaaaay too many chain-link tattoos for my liking. I believe that children are the future. Teach them well, and let them lead the way. So, can we stop this from being a thing? Please?
Neither
Jessica Andrade – After getting serious about her nutrition, Andrade dropped to 115 and won three straight in very impressive fashion. She hung in there and gave Joanna a lot of trouble early by attempting to replicate most of what worked against Angela Hill – bumrush to negate distance striking, work hard on the inside and try to land takedowns to do damage. It worked until it didn’t and she ended up losing to one of the best champions we’ve seen so far. She made some headway, though not enough to actually win any rounds. There’s no real shame in that at all, and with her overall record, it’s not something that causes your stock to drop dramatically. She probably be in the “loser” category, but how far back does this really set her? Andrade showed a great deal of tenacity and proved she belonged in there with the champion.
Yair Rodriguez – First loss in the UFC after a six-fight win streak? And he loses to a future Hall of Famer? He loses nothing. If anything, this becomes more of a learning experience. The fight itself was too much too soon, and good on him for challenging himself and taking it. Rodriguez wasn’t ready, but should be able to grow and learn from this. He’s still very young and enormously talented, and he seems to learn quickly. His stock doesn’t take a hit here.
Jorge Masvidal – As mentioned above, he defended very, very well. Masvidal also did a lot of damage standing and avoided getting submitted by the one man that could be considered best grappler in the sport (it’s either Maia or Jake Shields at this point). Masvidal’s had some of the best performances of his career since moving up to welterweight, and getting smothered by Demian Maia in a split decision doesn’t set him back much – even in a division like welterweight. Besides, Maia should have been given a title shot already. Another win or two and Masvidal is knocking on that door himself.
Rashad Coulter – Come on. The man came back and rallied from being close to finished and almost put away Chase Sherman on one leg. He gave absolutely everything he had into that, and would have been the biggest winner of the night had he actually pulled it off. I tend to be generous and forgiving to guys that lose their UFC debut, as it’s not always the best indication of where their talent lies. A fight like this, though? No way in hell I’m putting him in the losing category. Big ups to him, and we can only hope he got paid well for that. Not that I’m holding my breath, but that needs to be well rewarded.
Krzysztof Jotko – He’s still 6-2 in the UFC, and it was a split decision. It is what it is.

Source: bloody

Junior dos Santos on loss at UFC 211: ‘It’s terrible, man, it’s terrible’

It didn’t go the way Junior dos Santos wanted it to in his UFC 211 rematch with Stipe Miocic, yet up until the moment he got caught he felt he was executing the game plan perfectly.

The 33-year-old dos Santos was knocked out midway through the first round by the champion Miocic, yet he still addressed the media at the post-fight press conference in Dallas.

“Well, I’m very disappointed,” he said when asked about the emotions he was going through. “Not because he won the fight, but because I lost. I didn’t do any mistake in the fight. Actually, everything was working very well. I know he walks forward all the time, and I like to walk backwards and enjoy the opportunities that my opponents give to me.

“I was throwing some hard kicks, and the kicks were working very well.”

The former champion dos Santos was using leg kicks to help keep the range and take away some of Miocic’s aggression on Saturday night. At one point it looked like Miocic was favoring the lead leg, and a noticeable red mark was beginning to appear.

Then a big shot put dos Santos out, and after a quick series of follow-ups the referee called the fight.

“That’s the heavyweight division, you know?” Dos Santos said. “I think I’ve made many, many guys feel like that. It’s terrible, man. It’s terrible. Because I was prepared — I am prepared. And I had a lot to give there and everything, like I said, everything was working very well. The way we expected. We knew he was a tough guy and he would walk forward all the time. And like I said, the kicks, something else I brought to the fight that worked, and then I’d have to watch the fight to see what happened.”

The last time the two met was in 2014 in Phoenix, when dos Santos took a unanimous decision against Miocic. That was the last time Miocic lost a fight.

Meanwhile, dos Santos was able to get back into title contention with a strategic — and dominant — performance against Ben Rothwell last April. It was a long road back for the Brazilian, who said things got fuzzy when he tried to remember the end sequence of what happened.

“I don’t remember what kind of punch connected with me, but I remember I was trying to get back up,” he said. “Then the ref was on top of me to stop the fight. I’m feeling actually the back of my head, if you guys can see the swelling here [shows area], but I think it was my mistake. My coach said it was my mistake. Because when he came, he threw the cross against me, and the second cross hit me [in head].”

As for what comes next, Dos Santos said he wants to get back in there as soon as possible.

“I don’t pick opponents,” he said. “You know, I’m here to fight. And now I’m looking forward for my next fight already because I want to delete this thing. Man, I have to sit down to understand what kind of lesson. God wants me to understand because, yeah…but I’m here. I’m still looking forward for my future fights because that’s what I love to do.

“Today it didn’t work well for me. But I felt good. I felt almost there, and I felt like winning. After my third kick, I felt winning until lights out.”

Source: mmafighting

This head kick knockout is one of the fastest in MMA history

Stipe Miocic didn’t have the best knockout of the weekend.

That honor might very well belong to Jordan Fowler, who stopped Dylan Goforth with a devastating head kick knockout in just four seconds. That makes Fowler’s finish one of the quickest in MMA history.

The KO came at Pyramid Fights 2 on Saturday night in Searcy, Ark. It was an amateur bout fought at 195 pounds. Fowler was actually winless in his amateur career before the incredible feat. Goforth was 2-0.

The two men walked to the center of the cage, Fowler threw a high switch kick and Goforth took every bit of it with his head. The impact knocked him out immediately. And the bout was over as quickly as it started.

Eat your heart out, Cro Cop.

Source: mmafighting

Dana White expects to finalize Conor McGregor’s side of Floyd Mayweather deal on Sunday

A major hurdle on the road to a Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather mega-fight is expected to cleared soon, according to UFC President Dana White.

White said Saturday at UFC 211’s post-fight press conference that he expects to finalize McGregor’s side of the contract on Sunday, before then turning his sights to negotiating with Mayweather’s side in the hopes of striking a deal.

“We’re right there,” White explained. “I’m expecting an executed agreement tomorrow, and then I’ll start working with Team Mayweather next week.”

While that would seem to be good news for those hoping to see the reigning UFC lightweight champion take on Mayweather in a blockbuster boxing bout, White did not appear overly confident about the next step in the process.

“Look, we’re just getting this deal done with Conor,” White said. “What do you think the Mayweather side is going to be like, and how much time do you think I’m going to spend on this? We’re going to give it a shot.”

White indicated that his level of commitment to getting a deal done with Mayweather’s side “depends on how ridiculous” the boxer’s demands are.

And while a fight between Mayweather and McGregor remains one of the biggest running stories in combat sports, White has suggested numerous times over the past few weeks that he won’t be willing to spend more time than is necessary working on negotiating a deal for Mayweather-McGregor, as it would take away time he could be committing towards UFC-specific goals.

“Yeah [it’s going to be profitable for the UFC], but the question is how profitable,” White said. “You can assume how many buys you’re going to do — there’s no guarantee. Every time you put on a pay-per-view, it’s a roll of the dice. You don’t know what’s going to happen. So, you don’t know. There’s some fights that you do know, and this feels like one of those fights that should do that, but you never know.”

Source: mmafighting

Joanna Jedrzejczyk calls win over Jessica Andrade the best performance of her career

Joanna Jedrzejczyk has had a very dominant reign in the UFC.

The strawweight champion defended her title for a fifth time on Saturday night at UFC 211 in Dallas, Texas, defeating top contender Jessica Andrade. Jedrzejczyk, who remains undefeated in her professional fighting career, had another vintage victory where she outpointed the Brazilian, 50-45, 50-44, and 50-45 on the judges scorecards.

Jedrzejczyk called the win the best performance of her impressive 14-fight career.

“Yes, I think so, even if I’m getting older,” Jedrzejczyk said at the UFC 211 post-fight conference. “I feel this fire, and I want to learn. Since I moved to American Top Team, I feel like I’m the bird that got to escape from its cage, if you know that meaning. I’m very hard on myself everyday, you can ask my coaches, and after a good training session, I’m not happy because I know I can do better or change something to do better, you know? That’s why I keep on defending this belt.”

Last year, Jedrzejczyk made the move to Florida’s American Top Team, leaving her gym in Poland. The fight with Andrade marked the first time Jedrzejczyk has done her full preparation at ATT, as she was only able to partially train there for her fight with Karolina Kowalkiewicz back in November. The 29-year-old strawweight believes doing her full training camp at ATT brought her MMA game up to a new level.

“Before my last fight at Madison Square Garden, I only had six, seven weeks to work with my new coaches and team,” Jedrzejczyk said. “It wasn’t enough, but I think we still put on great work. This time we definitely had more time, and I’m very happy. I feel like I stepped on a different level and I’m looking forward to it. I (will) go on vacations for a few days to fly back to Poland to spend some time with my family, but I can’t wait to get back to ATT and put in work again with my team.

“I don’t know who’s going to be my next opponent right now,” Jedrzejczyk added. “I’m happy about this fight and I’m looking forward to spend some time with my fiancé and my family. I will have some vacations, and after that, I will think about my next fight. I don’t care who’s my next opponent, I will put on great work and defend this title for a sixth time.”

Source: mmafighting

UFC 211 video recap: Stipe Miocic finishes Junior dos Santos in the first round

Their first fight went the distance, but Miocic vs. dos Santos 2 was different. This time, it was much, much quicker. Stipe Miocic sought and got revenge at UFC 211, knocking out Junior dos Santos to retain the heavyweight title in the evening’s main event Saturday in Dallas.
Miocic wasted little time in this rematch of their first fight from 2014 fight. In their first meeting, dos Santos walked away with a unanimous decision. This time, Miocic finished his opponent in the very first round.
Early on, JDS applied some fierce legkicks to the point the champion had a noticeable limp. Miocic checked one, but that left a mark on his shin that left onlookers cringing.
Despite the damage left from the kicks, Miocic pushed forward and backed dos Santos against the cage. While there, Miocic left little space for his opponent to escape from his striking. With a thunderous right hand, Miocic knocked his opponent down to the floor, face-first. He pursued his fallen opponent to the ground, and landed few more head strikes before the referee pulled him off for the stoppage.
Miocic picked up the win at just 2:22 into the opening frame.
What was the highlight of the fight?
There’s no question what the highlight of the this fight is — the finish, nothing more.
JDS has had a rough time in the past when his back was against the cage, and UFC 211 was no different. Miocic applied pressure and backed him up. From there, it was all over with a right hand and Miocic picked up the second straight defense of his heavyweight title.
Where do these two go from here?
Miocic is quickly becoming one of the best heavyweights of all time. Even dos Santos said he’s on his way to earning that recognition. With consecutive finishes of guys like Andrei Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem, and now dos Santos, it’s clear that Miocic’s next defense should come against former champion Cain Velasquez (if Cain can stay healthy).
As for dos Santos, a man who was once the heavyweight champion has gone back and forth, winning and losing over the past four and a half years. If the pattern continues, he’s set to win his next fight, but there’s no chance that’ll be an easy task. Look for JDS to come back soon, perhaps in a rematch against Werdum.
Watch now, later, or never?
You got two minutes? You like knockouts? Of course you do. As such, you should watch Miocic vs. JDS 2.

Source: bloody

UFC 211 video recap: Joanna Jedrzejczyk dominates yet again, defeats Jessica Andrade

In the UFC 211 co-main evet, Joanna Jedrzejczyk marveled in her efforts against Jessica Andrade. She retained her strawweigh title and showed why she’s one of the best strikers in MMA. Joanna Jedrzejczyk showed why she’s a champion with another stunning performance, this time against Jessica Andrade at UFC 211 in Dallas on Saturday.
Jedrzejczyk controlled the pace of the 25-minute fight with her superior striking, retaining the UFC women’s strawweight title by earning the judges’ decision with scores of 50-45, 50-44 and 50-45.
Andrade started out strong, brawling with the champ from the get-go. She even got the champion down a couple times. Jedrzejczyk, however, did well to circle away and fight at distance.
From there, Jedrzejczyk landed a number of jabs, setting up several combinations that seemed to triple the output of her opponent. She added well-placed headkicks to round out her near-perfect offense.
To her credit, Andrade didn’t back down from the dominant champion. Even though she ate a number of shots, she kept moving forward and looking to land power punches in hopes of ending the bout. She wasn’t able to land a fight-ender, though, and Jedrzejczyk came away with yet another win to add her collection.
What was the highlight of the fight?
Jedrzejczyk’s ability to accurately measure her distance from Andrade was pivotal in her win over the challenger. It almost didn’t matter that Andrade was coming forward the whole time because Jedrzejczyk’s footwork was so good that she could time her strikes at the exact moment necessary, all while evading most damage.
As the championship rounds went on, Jedrzejczyk continued to show why she’s one of the most technical strikers in all of MMA. Andrade was visibly frustrated and it seemed there was little she could do to come out on top against an opponent who was difficult to hit, yet hit back so easily.
Where do these two go from here?
Jedrzejczyk remains on the top of the UFC’s women’s strawweight division. At this point, she’ll likely continue her dominance of the division, unless someone comes along to be a superior striker. Keep an eye on Rose Namajunas as the next foe to try her hands at slaying the queen.
Two years ago, Andrade was having a tough time at 135 pounds, going 4-3 in the UFC and worrying that she would be cut from the promotion. She decided to drop to the 115-pound division, which ended up being the best thing she could do at that point in her career. Her power is some of the best in the weight class, and a fight with Claudia Gadelha would be some quality MMA if matchmakers see fit to book it.
Watch now, later, or never?
Watching Jedrzejczyk do her thing is always worth your time, simply for the fact she brings technique and violence all at once.
Source: bloody

UFC 211 Photo: Check the scorecards that nearly gave Masvidal a win over Maia

Here’s a look at the Demian Maia vs. Jorge Masvidal scorecards from UFC 211. Demian Maia controlled Jorge Masvidal for more than half of their pivotal welterweight matchup at UFC 211, and seemed to convincingly win, but “Gamebred” was only a scorecard away from being announced the victor.
In the first round of the title eliminator, Maia rode Masvidal’s back and looked for a rear-naked choke for nearly the entire round, limiting the American Top Team product’s offense. Masvidal appeared to hurt the Brazilian with seconds left in the round, but not enough to warrant a stoppage.
The second round was much closer, as Masvidal was able to keep it standing for approximately the first two minutes before being inevitably taken down by the Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace. An argument could be made for Masvidal taking the second round, as he landed a handful of somewhat heavy blows while standing and Maia didn’t deliver much actual damage.
Masvidal found success on the feet yet again early in the third and final round, but Maia controlled him for much of the latter half on the mat and mixed in some submission attempts.
After the bout was over, Maia’s hand was raised, but barely.
Judges Jeff Mullen and Sal D’Amato both scored the fight 29-28 Maia, while Aladin Martinez scored the fight 29-28 Masvidal, giving the Florida-based competitor rounds one and two. Two judges actually gave Masvidal the first, but one gave Maia the second, which turned out to be the difference.
Check out the scorecards below:

#UFC211 official scorecard: Demian Maia vs. Jorge Masvidal via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) pic.twitter.com/1lLRgmeMNb— Mike Fridley (@mikefridley) May 14, 2017

UFC president Dana White confirmed after the event Maia will fight welterweight champion Tyron Woodley next, but the title fight is not yet official.
UFC 211 took place live from American Airlines Center in Dallas on Saturday night. In the main event, heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic finished Junior dos Santos in the first round. Strawweight titleholder Joanna Jedrzejczyk defended her belt for the fifth time with a dominant performance over Jessica Andrade in the co-headliner.
Source: bloody